First Comparison of Traveling Atmospheric Disturbances Observed in the Middle Thermosphere by Global-Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk to Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances Seen in Ground-Based Total Electron Content Observations

Traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) and their neutral counterparts known as traveling atmospheric disturbances (TADs) are believed to play a role in communicating inputs to other locations in the fluid. While these two phenomena are believed to be connected, they may not have a one-to-one correspondence as the geomagnetic field influences the TID but has no direct impact on the TAD. The relative amplitudes of the perturbations seen in the ionosphere and atmosphere have been observed but rarely together. This study reports results from a 3-day campaign to observe TIDs and TADs simultaneously over a broad latitudinal region over the eastern United States using a combination of Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) and a distributed network of ground-based Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers. These results demonstrate that GOLD and the ground-based total electron content (TEC) observations can see the atmospheric and ionospheric portions of a large-scale traveling disturbance. The phase difference in the perturbations to the GOLD airglow brightness, O/N2 and thermospheric disk temperature are consistent with an atmospheric gravity wave moving through this region. The ionospheric signatures move at the same rate as those in the atmosphere, but their amplitudes do not have a simple correspondence to the amplitude of the signal seen in the atmosphere. This campaign demonstrates a proof-of-concept that this combination of observations is able to provide information on TIDs and TADs, including quantifying their impact on the temperature and chemical composition of the upper atmosphere.
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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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